A time for everything

By turnx3

"There was a crooked man...."

Looking at this puts me in mind of the nursery rhyme

There was a crooked man,
And he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence
Upon a crooked stile;
He bought a crooked cat,
Which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together
In a crooked little house.

This is Little Moreton House in Cheshire, which we visited this afternoon with Roger's Dad. The house was built by three generations of the Moreton family over a period of some 120 years, beginning in the mid 15th century.
As Little Moreton Hall was developed and enlarged, it became a charming jumble of buildings around a central cobbled courtyard. The carpenter who carried out the modernisation work in the 1550s, Richard Dale, is immortalised with an inscription on the bay windows giving onto the courtyard. Most of the stained glass in the leaded light windows is from the 16th century. As you look at the building from whatever angle it is almost impossible to find a perfectly straight edge anywhere, and many of the glass panes appear blown and distorted under the pressure of the heavy stone slate roof. Yet despite this it has miraculously survived intact, with hardly any obvious additional bracing or supports to spoil the intricate external decoration. By the early 18th century, the Moretons had vacated their family home, seeking their fortune elsewhere, but rather than selling it, decided to let it to tenant farmers. Less than 100 years later many of the buildings were being used for storage purposes, with only a small area remaining inhabited by the tenant. It was substantially restored by Elizabeth Moreton at the end of the 19th century, with continuing maintenance and stabilisation work undertaken by her cousin and heir, Bishop Abraham during his time at the hall. Extremely proud of the fact that the family home had never been sold, and wishing to secure the future of such an outstanding example of period architecture, Bishop Abraham presented it to the National Trust in 1938.

One year ago: Malham Cove

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